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M’sia can defer Johor-Singapore RTS link, but within agreed terms and with mutual consent: MOT

SINGAPORE — It is “possible” for Malaysia to defer deadlines and review parameters on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project to link Johor Baru and Singapore, but this has to be done within agreed terms and with the mutual consent of both countries, Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) said.

The Ministry of Transport said that on March 27, 2019, Malaysia requested a six-month deadline extension to respond to Singapore on issues relating to the Johor-Singapore RTS link project.

The Ministry of Transport said that on March 27, 2019, Malaysia requested a six-month deadline extension to respond to Singapore on issues relating to the Johor-Singapore RTS link project.

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SINGAPORE — It is “possible” for Malaysia to defer deadlines and review parameters on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project to link Johor Baru and Singapore, but this has to be done within agreed terms and with the mutual consent of both countries, Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) said.

In its statement on Thursday (April 4), MOT said that on March 27, Malaysia had requested a six-month deadline extension to respond to Singapore on issues relating to the Johor-Singapore RTS link project.

Malaysia wanted to review the project’s “scope, structure and costs previously agreed between the two countries”, the ministry said.

“It is possible to defer project deadlines and review project parameters, provided it is done within the framework of the RTS Link Bilateral Agreement (BA) and subject to mutual consent of both countries,” it added.

“For example, Malaysia can request to suspend the RTS link project, as was done for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail Project. Alternatively, Malaysia can terminate the existing RTS Link BA and request to negotiate a fresh BA with Singapore.”

On Monday, Malaysian media reported the country’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke as saying that the aim of the extension was to allow the government to study the project’s cost — estimated at RM4 billion (S$1.33 billion) —  to reduce it further and how the project will be utilised.

In January, Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that the RTS link project is “behind schedule” as Malaysia has missed several deadlines.

This means that the completion date for the rail link will likely be delayed beyond the original target of Dec 31, 2024.

The 4km RTS line, between Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru and Woodlands North in Singapore, was touted as an important link that would ease commutes and boost the cross-border economy between Johor and Singapore.

In a written response to a parliamentary question from Mr Ang Wei Neng, Member of Parliament for Jurong Group Representation Constituency, who asked about the progress of the RTS project, Mr Khaw said in January that it is “not progressing well” as “milestones have been missed”.

Related topics

Malaysia Johor Baru Rapid Transit System RTS link project extension bilateral agreement mutual consent Ministry of Transport Khaw Boon Wan Anthony Loke

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